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About ljandgb

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  1. To be honest, I don't think an all day drive to see the glacier lagoon is worth it, but there are tours that do it, so obviously enough people are interested in it. The second half of the drive is particularly boring, as the landscape does not change much. There is a chance there will be no ice on the beach and little to no ice in the lagoon, so be prepared for that just in case. Most locals advise you to add 20% to any Google maps estimate. With a long port stay, I'd consider a jeep tour to the highlands, or Snafellsnes, or practically any other location that did not involve 12+ hours of driving. Just my opinion, feel free to ignore it. 🙂
  2. We did the Rhine with Croisieurope. Our meals were a set menu. If you knew ahead of time you would not like the main dish (it was posted near the front desk every morning), you could pre-order a chicken breast. I am an adventurous eater, and there were times that I was not so thrilled with the meal. Not a reason not to do the cruise, but if your granddaughters need choices, it may not work well for them. If they can roll with it, then Croisie was a great line. Our ship was smaller, and a more simply decorated, than many I've seen but it was impeccably clean and the crew was delightful.
  3. Daylight advances at something like 13 min/day, until you get to the "midnight sun" end of June (which is more like a very prolonged dusk) and then it decreases by the same amount. Depending on how much light vs dark you want, that's something to consider. The weather will be predictably unpredictable (sun, rain, sleet, frequently alternating every 30 minutes) no matter when you go, though it will be a bit warmer July/August. The actual cruising season is probably not long, given that both countries are on the Arctic circle. The ports in Iceland are very small with no real tourist infrastructure, with the exception of Reykjavik and to a certain extent Akureyri. You will be limited to the ship's excursions in most places. A cruise is not the best way to see Iceland, though I do understand why some people prefer it.
  4. I've never ridden bikes where you're asking about, but our walking tour guide in Copenhagen called the bike lanes "the kill zone" and warned us repeatedly not to wander into them. They start biking on their own very young there (our guide said 7-8 yrs) and I can totally see how the PP did not feel up to speed, no pun intended.
  5. Just to be clear, you need a few dollars worth of local currency in coins. Euros work fine if it's an attendant with a basket, but local currency might be necessary if it's a slot operated door or turnstile. It's usually the equivalent of 50 cents or so. This is more important if you are DIY'ing your excursion. If going with the ship, I'm going to guess they'll take you to free toilets.
  6. We needed cash a handful of times, for a hot dog stand and several public toilets. It's good to have just a few dollars in coins for toilets. Almost everyone takes CC. I think it's Sweden that has actively been pushing to go cashless.
  7. I do everything cruisemom42 does, with my Pacsafe bag. I like that it locks, in case something like what lisiamc mentioned happens. I like that you can lock/unlock the strap so I can weave it into a chair for those times I don't want to wear my purse while eating. As an added measure, it's safety cone orange. NOT a color I would use at home, but I've heard of bags being taken at security screenings (such as to get into the Eiffel Tower) and it's harder to walk away with a bright orange purse.
  8. Absolutely do the south coast. You could consider Into the Volcano for day 2, that would probably really appeal to the kids, though it is not cheap. You could find a highlands tour perhaps, that will be a very different sort of scenery. I've been to Iceland twice and still haven't been to the Golden Circle. It's the "go to" tourist tour but everything I've read says it's not as majestic as the south coast or north. There are geysers, though, which the kids may like. The BL is nice, but might be pretty boring for the kids after a short while. It's a spa, not a recreational pool, and loud frolicking would be looked down upon. For the cost, it might not be worth it. I keep hearing good things about the Flyover Iceland show. Reykjavik itself is nice, but I would absolutely skip it and see the countryside instead.
  9. If you plug Isafjordur in the search box, several threads come up. There will not be a lot, as it's a small hamlet. Plan early if you want to do something not offered by the ship.
  10. We did a Steel Donkey bike tour. It was a great way to see a LOT of the city with minimal effort. The city is flat and has many pedestrian/bike only streets. They even have eBikes if you don't want to pedal much at all.
  11. Don't forget that in July you will only have minimal "night" so could push a tour to a very late finish time.
  12. Reykjavik and Akureyri have big bus tours, like Grey Line, that will go out to the main sites, and tour providers with smaller groups as well. For the smaller ports, you may be stuck with what the ship offers as those hamlets have little infrastructure for the few cruises that come thru. Definitely search TripAdvisor and the travel forum there. You'll get a good idea of what's available in the main towns and if there's anything at all in the smaller ones. I've not cruised Iceland so can't comment on how close to shore you are.
  13. In a different vein, we went to the Opera House and saw the Paris Opera Ballet. It was excellent, and we ended up sitting about 20 feet from the Queen. The free walking tour is a great way to get oriented to the city. It is eminently walkable, and once you know the landmarks very easy to navigate.
  14. I have no issue with a non-local TA. In some ways, that makes it harder to pick one, since I have pretty much the entire country to choose from. We're awaiting brochures and we have lots of time. Once I get a selection of cruises to choose from, I'll make the group pin down which line they like best. We'll go from there.
  15. Not angry, more sardonic. I live in a small rural town 90+ minutes from any large city. There are definitely no evening TA programs happening. More like the seasonal 4H livestock auctions and church picnics. :) If I need anything I can't get at Wal-Mart, TA's included, it's going to have to be online. I've ordered brochures from several different cruise lines and will let the group decide what level of inclusiveness they are comfortable with price-wise then go from there. The youtube recommendation is a good one. Between that and contacting the specific line I'm sure we'll find someone at least decent.
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